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24: "That Which Cometh from Above Is Sacred" (Doctrine and Covenants 63)

Sun Jun 06 17:47:00 EDT 2021
Episode 24

If trying to follow along with what's happening in Doctrine and Covenants 63 has ever left you feeling like you're on a challenging hike without a map, all is not lost! This week’s guest is an excellent guide as we navigate these intriguing verses. In fact, there’s very few people who would know more about what was going on in the lives of the Saints and the prophet Joseph Smith at this time than her. So grab your scriptures, and maybe a compass, and let’s dig into to this week’s lesson of Doctrine and Covenants 63.

Find full episodes of the Sunday on Monday study group here. Start your free trial of Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ here.

Show Notes

Tammy 0:00

Is there someone in your life that you've thought, "Gosh, it'd be so cool to meet them or know them, but it's probably never really going to happen." Okay, well, today is the day that I get to meet one of those people that I just talked about, and I could not be more excited!

You are going to love our guest and the price that she has paid to know all that she knows about the Prophet Joseph Smith. I mean, who knew the Doctrine and Covenants section 63 was so full of goodness, doctrine, and depth; the history and the stories that we're going to hear today will just make you love this section, and our guest.

Welcome to the Sunday on Monday study group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall.

Now, if you're new to our study group, I want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link in our description that will explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your "Come, Follow Me" study, just like my two friends Clark and Kara who, how cool is this: Clark was one of my former students and his wife was listening to the podcast, and he came in and said, "What are you listening to?" And she said, "Oh, this really great podcast by Tammy Uzelac Hall." And he said, "That was my Seminary teacher!" And now they're fans, and they sent me a message. So hi, guys! I love that you're listening. And you're mourning the loss of your sweet dog. I found out your dog passed away. So we love you and your Bessie.

Here is my favorite thing about our study group. Each week we're joined by two of my friends, but this week's a little different. I only have one friend. I feel like I need a drumroll please, because we have Heidi Swinton and I just, oh, I have to tell you: Heidi Swinton is an author, she's a historian, she's done incredible things. And Heidi's book, The American Prophet, the Story of Joseph Smith was my very first big-kid purchase that I ever made as a Seminary teacher. And I cherish that book, it's really big. And it has the most beautiful artwork and history filled in it. And so when I found out I could have Heidi on the podcast, I was just overwhelmed. So Heidi, hello!

Hello. And this was quite a drumroll. It would be easy to just say she puts her shoes on one at a time in the morning like everybody else.

Well, she does. But they're nicer shoes.

Heidi Swinton 2:09

I'm not so sure about that.

Tammy 2:11

They're more edge. I'm sure they're smart shoes.

Heidi Swinton 2:13

Oh, for sure smart shoes.

Tammy 2:15

A smart shoe for sure.

Okay, I can already tell that we're gonna have so much fun digging into this week's lesson. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, just tell us a little bit about yourself and the new project that you're working on, because it's so cool.

Heidi Swinton 2:31

I'm a mother of five boys, four of them are living. I have 13 grandchildren. Two of my sons live within walking distance of my house, if I walk for a long time, and one lives in Philadelphia, and one lives in Juneau, Alaska. So we're kind of spread out across the countryside.

I've been on two missions with my husband. He was mission president in England, and the director of the visitor center in Hawaii. So they send us to islands so we can't get off and come home.

We've had just a wonderful run together. He's been terribly supportive, and has a fierce red pen that he will use when I'm writing and say, "Uh, have you thought about this?" And you know, I just kind of crawl back to my desk and go back to work. So it's been a good partnership.

I have been writing about the history of the Church for so many years. First thing I ever did, was a piece about Lorenzo Snow, for a book called Presidents of the Church. It was edited by Leonard Arrington, who's my stepfather. And he called me up one day and said, "Come out to my house, I need you to do something." And I said, "Okay," and so I went out there. And he sat me down and gave me a stack of books that was, you know, two feet tall and said, "I want you to read all these books. And then I want you to write a 30-page essay on Lorenzo Snow. And I want you to have it done in a week!" So I go out and get in my car; it turned out that the person that was supposed to do it had just never done it. They were up against the deadline, and he was sure I could do it. I'd never done anything quite like that before. I'm a journalist by training, though, and so I love deadlines. And I sat down and read and read and read and wrote about Lorenzo, and that got me started on Church history.

And that started me on the path to researching Joseph Smith's life. He just became a part of me. One of the things that I often talk about is, I just want the opportunity to meet him. I just want to put out my hand and say to him, "I did the best I could for you. And for all the people that stood by you all those years."

Tammy 4:42

And now you're taking all of that information that you know about Joseph and you have started, well, LDS Living and Deseret Book have started a podcast with you about the life of Joseph Smith. Is that right?

It is and what we decided to do, you know, there are a lot of podcasts out there about Joseph. You've got the Joseph Smith Papers people, you've got the BYU studies people. You've got everybody out there wanting to talk about Joseph, and put it in context of history.

Heidi Swinton 5:07

But we've taken a very different tact. We're talking about how it feels to know Joseph was and is a prophet of God, and how you came to that understanding, and how it makes a difference in the way you live your life. So we've kind of tried to sit down at the kitchen table with Joseph as a very good friend.

And the thing that is remarkable is that it doesn't matter if you're talking to a historian who has authored scores of books on Joseph Smith in early Church history. Or if you're talking to a new convert, or a young missionary, or someone from England. They all come at Joseph Smith in a different way, and your lights go on, and you think, "I never thought of it that way." And for those who, you know, sometimes struggle and say, "I just don't know quite what to do there about Joseph," we kind of go after that. Because the bottom line is that he's the prophet of the Restoration, and we just can't even grasp the magnitude of his influence in where we are today, and what we're doing individually, as well as collectively as a church.

Tammy 6:17

Amen, Heidi. And when you said earlier that you just want to shake his hand, I have a very strong impression and suspicion that it will be a hug. And he's going to hug you. What's the name of your podcast?

Heidi Swinton 6:31

We're calling it Joseph. How about that for original?

Tammy 6:36

Well, for a lot of listeners, you're probably thinking, "I can't listen to one more podcast." And I'm like, "Yeah, but you're gonna want to listen to this one." So, that's easy. Joseph. I love it.

Heidi Swinton 6:45

Joseph, Joseph transcending history, Joseph in his day, but most of all, Joseph in your heart.

Tammy 6:52

Perfect. Well, for those of you who want to know more information about Heidi, you can find pictures of her and her bio, in our show notes, which are found at on Monday.

So we have Doctrine and Covenants section 63. It's just one chapter, like we've said, and there are so many stories that play into this section, which just makes Heidi the perfect guest. So friends, grab your scriptures, and let's dig in.

So for those of you listening, I just want you to know, I Face-Timed Heidi a few weeks ago, and we talked about this section. And what I love the most is that we both had the exact same summation of verses 1 through 6. Do you remember what it was Heidi? We both said, "Here's what these verses tell us." What is it?

Well, it's the Lord exercising his power and saying, if you're my people, this is what I want you to know. He's just setting it out very clearly: I'm in charge here.

That's it. In fact, write that in your scriptures; bracket off verses 1 through 6 and put in the side: God is in charge. And that is what these verses teach us. And we just want to really focus on verse 1, because there's some pretty significant things in this verse. So I'm gonna have Heidi read this verse. And as she reads it, mark what the Lord is asking us to do. There's a couple of things he wants us to do in this verse.

"Hearken, O ye people and open your hearts, and give ear from afar. And listen, you that call yourselves the people of the Lord and hear the word of the Lord and His Will concerning you."

Thank you. So what did you mark? What are some things that stood out to you, Heidi?

I think, first of all, He says, "Hearken." This is listen up, pay attention. And then "Oh, ye people." So he kind of broadens the base right there. But then he says, "open your hearts." That's one. "Give ear from afar," no matter where you are, either in your mind or in your location. And listen, don't just casually connect, listen.

Yeah. And what's so cool about that, and we've talked about this word on the podcast often is in Hebrew, the word hearken is shama, which means obey. Like He's saying, I want you to obey and listen and open your heart and give ear from afar and hear the will of the Lord. I mean, this is huge, all of these things He's asking us to do.

And the one that struck me the most was open your heart. And I wanted to know, Heidi, what are some things that you do that help open your heart?

Well, I think the heart is the key to the gospel. And I think when we talk about the heart, and it's everywhere in the scriptures, the Lord is always talking about your heart. Because He's talking about your soul, your inner spirit, the strength that exudes from you. When you open your heart, you've got a heart that isn't cankered by frustration, or anger, or disappointment. You've got a heart that feels at peace because you know things are true. You've got a heart that you're willing to lay on the altar for the things that you love. And those things that you love are the things of the Lord. And so when you open your heart, He's saying, 'Set everything else aside. Let your heart embrace the truths of the gospel, and let your heart become one with Me.'

Heidi, as you're saying that, I have this question in my mind I want to know: in all of your research, in all of your study that you've done, which is so much, was there ever a time that you read something that was hard for you, that required you to open your heart so that you could believe?

Oh, yeah. I think it's hard for us when we read, particularly in the scriptures, when we read about all of the trials and tribulations and wars and deaths, and desecration. I'm just right now in Alma, it's the war chapters, and people are just dying by the gazillions. And it's hard for me to understand that that's okay.

Heidi Swinton 10:53

I find it hard to reconcile, in my own mind, how we sometimes have good fortune and prosper, and we sometimes really struggle. And yet I know that in really struggling, that's when we have to open our hearts. That's when we have to allow the Lord to reach in and say, I'm right here. And you're not doing this alone. And it also puts in perspective the grit of mortality, that mortality is the here and now and it's going to be behind us. But Eternity is forever. And that's what the Lord is promising.

And so when we can set those things aside, when I can take those war chapters and say, "Okay, I can deal with this." And I can also take the war chapters in my own life. Because that's what I think part of the interpretation is for us in the Book of Mormon.

For me, I had a child die when he was born, and his twin brother lived. And every time I look at that twin brother, I think, "There is eternity waiting for all of us." I talk about that a lot, because it was a turning point in my life. But it was a war chapter. And it was one of those where you had to just turn to the Lord, and accept the peace that he promised, which is peace that can come into your heart, but not necessarily to your circumstances.

Tammy 12:27

That's a beautiful answer, Heidi. In fact, it's what makes verses 3 and 4 so grand in all of this because you can read them and think the Lord's being harsh. Or you can read them thinking, "He's there with you in your war chapter."

I love how it says, "who willeth to take even them whom he will take, and preserveth in life them whom he will preserve;

"Who buildeth up at his own will and pleasure; and destroyeth when he pleases, and is able to cast the soul down to hell." This is God speaking: I'm in charge. And He can do anything and He can absolutely stop the wars in our life, for sure. But He doesn't. Your testimony that you shared just now of your son is proof that we need those wars. So, good stuff, Heidi.

Heidi Swinton 13:10

And you know the thing that leads up to that is where He says in the very first verse, "You that call yourselves the people of the Lord." Now, there are a lot of people that call themselves the people of the Lord. But then in verse 3, he says, "Who willeth to take even them with whom he will take and preserveth in life them whom he will preserve," those who stand with him. And then in verse 4, those who choose not to even though they may call themselves the people of the Lord By their love, by their hearts, by their actions they're not His people.

Tammy 13:47

Amen. Excellent, excellent. So that's just verses 1 through 5. And I just love these verses, because the Lord is inviting and preparing us as well as the early saints, like we just talked about to do specific things that will combat the next problem He's going to address in this section. So Heidi and I are going to show you what that problem is in the next segment.

Segment 2

Tammy 14:17

Has anyone listening ever thought, "I just need God to show me a sign. If you'd just show me sign, then I'd know." Have you ever thought that before Heidi in your younger life or anytime?

Oh yeah, just tell me what to do. That's a sign. Just lay it out for me, and I'm willing to do it. And the minute you do that, then you're not exercising your agency, which is what life is all about, to be able to prove yourself herewith.

Heidi Swinton 14:43

I've just sort of said, "Really? You're not going to tell me, you're going to make me figure this out on my own?" And sometimes, you know, you go down the wrong road. And you have to back up and go the other way. But I think that the Lord has so much patience with us. If we're willing to listen to what He says, which sometimes is nothing, or listen to what He does, which is sometimes nothing.

Tammy 15:12

Well, it's the natural man in all of us to ask for a sign because it's just easier than having to practice the faith that's required to get the sign. Like, we kind of missed that whole combination of faith and signs and all of that stuff. And that is exactly what the Lord's addressing in Section 63. Because many of the Saints were seeking signs; they wanted to know the truth of all things, they were so excited to obtain.

In fact, the section heading says that many of the saints were concerned about every subject of their salvation, which goes perfectly with the title of Section 63, which is "Sign Seekers; How Zion is redeemed". And that's what verses 7 through 12 are all about: signs and what the Lord has to say about sign seekers.

And Heidi actually has a really cool backstory for this. Heidi, tell us about it, what's going on in these verses right here?

He's not mentioned here, but Ezra Booth is a great example of a sign seeker. And he's a significant factor in the early days of the Church.

Heidi Swinton 16:10

Ezra Booth was with John Johnson. Now, John Johnson is the one who owns the farm where Joseph Smith went to live with Emma, and it's where he did a lot of the translation of the Bible. So, he became very close to John Johnson, who stayed very strong in the Church. But Ezra Booth and John Johnson are good friends; they get a copy of the Book of Mormon. They read it, they read it late into the night. And they're so engaged in it that they just think this is so fabulous. We've got to meet this Joseph Smith guy. And so they go to meet Joseph Smith.

And they go in and John Johnson's wife, Elsa's, got this crippled arm. And as Joseph is talking to them, he goes over to Elsa. She couldn't lift her arm above her head and imagine in those days, where they did everything. They, you know, hung the laundry, and they washed the clothes. And if you've got a bad arm, you're in real trouble. He walks over to her and puts his hands on her, and she's healed immediately.

And Ezra Booth, "I'm in. Hey, I'm in, this is my kind of gospel." Now he's been a preacher. But now he's got the Book of Mormon in his quiver, and he's got this sign that Joseph has power beyond anything he's ever seen. And he wants to be baptized, and so he's baptized. And he joins into the group. He doesn't last very long.

He witnesses this miracle, and then in June he goes to a conference, and he's expecting more miracles. I think he's expecting incredible manifestations and nothing happens and he's a bit disappointed.

And Joseph calls him to go to Zion in Missouri. And Joseph goes to Zion in Missouri in a buggy with Sidney Rigdon. And Ezra Booth has to walk, and Ezra Booth is mad about that. And Isaac Morley walks with him, and they're good friends, but he's mad about that, too. And so then he gets to Zion and he imagines that Zion is going to be this incredible place where, you know, there are lush grapes growing from vines. He imagines that it is a place outside of this world. And it's just rugged, old frontier Missouri. It's

Tammy 18:28

It's humid, I grew up there. I'd be like, "Are you kidding me? I left it for this?"

Heidi Swinton 18:37

And you know, sometimes, sometimes you say, "I guess if this is gonna be Zion, okay." That's one of those things where you gotta trust the Lord. You gotta have faith.

And Ezra booth looks around at that, and Joseph says, "Okay, we're going back to Kirtland, you're going to have to go back and while you're on your way back to Kirtland, preach the gospel." That's what it's all about, is bringing, gathering everybody to Zion. He says to him, preach the gospel.

By the time Ezra Booth gets back to Kirtland he is cankered, he is angry. He is disappointed in Joseph. He hasn't seen any miracles. He hasn't seen anything of any significance. And he turns on Joseph, and becomes one of the most vociferous enemies Joseph has. And he writes letters about Joseph and he has them published in the local newspaper. He joins forces with other awful men who pick at Joseph and everything about Joseph. Ezra Booth becomes this antagonist in Joseph's life, and you can trace it back to what lifted Ezra out of his seat was a miracle.

But it wasn't faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that come what may I'm there for you, Jesus Christ. And you can count on me as an instrument in your hands. That wasn't him. And everything he was asked to do, he was mad about. And everything he was asked to do, he started murmuring and being obnoxious and angry. It's no different than Laman and Lemuel. They saw angels, they saw all kinds of miracles, and they were constantly abusing Nephi. It was the same kind of an individual who has turned from faith, and sought just what he needed for himself personally.

Tammy 20:35

Everyone listening, please remember that story because I'm going to refer to it when we study sections 71 through 75. You're gonna want to know this background, because it's going to help make those verses come to life. So just remember the story about Ezra Booth.

And so what's so interesting is in these verses in Section 63, he says over and over again, and verse 10 has it. "Signs come by faith, not the will of men." And that's the important thing here is that he didn't exercise any faith at all.

And I love the word exercise and faith connected, because we've studied this word in Hebrew before. It's emuna. And this word has everything to do with those actions that we take to show that we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not about us saying, I have faith in God that he's going to do this for me. It's, I have faith in God, so I'm going to show him that faith by acting, doing, reading, praying, like you said, Heidi, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's what it's all about. And once you have that faith, then signs come. Is that how it works?

Oh, I think so. And the signs that come in a different way. Because we recognize where they come from, and there is a gratitude and an appreciation for them. That we know that the Lord is with us, and that those blessings are blessings.

Heidi Swinton 21:53

Sometimes, when signs come that aren't what we expected, and how often does that happen? A lot. Or signs come that are a disappointment. We've been taking ourselves down one track and like I said, you have to throw the car in reverse, and back up, because you always want to be found with the Lord, and one with the Lord. You have to have faith in order to have that and with your faith, the signs are added upon, but you're not desperate for them.

Tammy 22:27

Well, it's worth reading verse 6. In fact, let's have you read verse 6 so we can see how the Lord sets this up.

"Wherefore, verily, I say, let the wicked take heed, and let the rebellious fear and tremble; and let the unbelieving hold their lips, for the day of wrath shall come upon them as a whirlwind, and all flesh shall know that I am God."

That word "whirlwind" stood out to me as I was unpacking these verses. And it's worth looking at the cross reference for that. It's Jeremiah, chapter 30, verse 23. I think we need to go there because I think a lot of us experience this whirlwind, but I love the way it's described in Jeremiah. So let's turn there.

Verse 23, says, "Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked."

Now mark that verse and then mark the word "whirlwind." Because in Hebrew, what we need to know is it means "the storm of the Lord." And I think, how many of us have been in a storm of the Lord because of our choices, because we're asking for a sign instead of faith?

And so when He's teaching us in these verses, He's saying, it's faith that's going to keep us from being destroyed in this storm. And I think about all the storms that we go through in our lives, and I just love the analogy, Heidi, I go back to the wars. All of our war chapters in our life could be easily compared to a storm of the Lord, and what storms are you in? That you're saying, "God, just show me a sign." And maybe He's saying, "Just get to work. Try to figure this out, and I'm going to help you, I'm going to be with you. I'm in charge. Don't forget that, like I'm completely in charge. And I need you to go and do."

So looking back at verse 1, Heidi, what would your recommendation be? How can we avoid these whirlwinds? Or what can we do? How can we get help in the storms of the Lord through verse 1?

Well, the first thing I'd say is "peace, be still." I think that's why reading the scriptures is helpful. Because we have to center ourselves; we have to just quietly sit down and begin to read.

Heidi Swinton 24:31

The other thing I would say is a whirlwind is usually a result of a lot of things not going the way you thought they would. It's so often a desperation that you can't get your arms around what's happening. The Lord's example if this is so good, because you have to look outside yourself.

The minute you think you're at the center of the whirlwind, it's because you think you're at the center of everything. When you look outside yourself and say, "Who could I help today? Who can I do something for?" In the process of doing that, we shift the energy of that whirlwind into doing something that is positive in another person's life.

Tammy 25:13

Well, and, Heidi, let's go back to verse 1 again. Connect that verse to those of us who are stuck in a whirlwind. What is He trying to tell us?

Well, the first thing you should do is get down on your knees. Because to hear the word of the Lord, hear him, as President Nelson's always saying. To hear him, you have to put yourself in a humble environment, where you can "set aside the things of the world," as it says in [section] 25, and seek for the things of a better. And whirlwind is mortality.

Heidi Swinton 25:44

Eternity doesn't have any whirlwinds. Eternity has a sense of peace, and calm and devotion and gratitude, and fortitude, and all of those things that are an antithesis to the scattering that often goes around us. And then when He says, "Open your hearts," the whirlwind, its exterior, and opening your heart is saying to the Lord, "I think I really need help right now. Where are you? And where is 'the pavilion that coverth thy hiding place?'" Liberty jail was a whirlwind of sorts. And what did Joseph do? He turned to the Lord and the Lord responded to him. But first, Joseph had to exercise the faith, that the answer was in the Lord and in nothing else.

Tammy 26:39

Well, and as you were talking, I looked back at verse 1 and I saw "give ear from afar and listen." That word "afar" doesn't necessarily have to mean those of you living distantly, that word "afar" can definitely be a spiritual afar. How many times have I been afar? Give ear from afar and listen. And we will "hear the word of the Lord and His Will concerning you." Isn't that great how it ends with that? "And hear the word of the Lord and His will concerning you." That's the beauty of all the things you just said. That's the end result. Those of us who need signs, it requires us to work and do those things that verse 1 says. So thank you, Heidi, thank you. That was a great connection.

So as we move on into the next segment, in connection with those who seek signs before they have faith, the Lord then calls out specific people, or, this was interesting to me, their specific sins. And He explains what will happen if they don't repent. So we're going to show you what that is in the next segment.

Segment 3

Tammy 27:44

Okay, so this was fun, because when I was talking to Heidi about Section 63, verses 13 through 22, it was such a fun discussion. So I'm just gonna let Heidi give us context for these verses, because when you read them, you're like, what? Inquiring minds want to know. What's going on here, Heidi?

Well you look at verse 12, for instance, where the Lord says, "There are those among you who have sought after signs and wonders for faith." Well, that's backwards, because we just talked about how signs don't really take you in the direction you want to go. But faith does. So once you've got that faith in place, then the signs and the wonders, they'll follow. But they will be less significant, because the faith will swell within you. And it will be strong, and you're going to act upon it.

Heidi Swinton 28:32

Then he says, "I've given you commandments, and some of you have turned away from those commandments, you haven't kept them."

Now, you look at these people at that time. And you think, "Oh, they must have been absolutely rock solid and locked on." But some of them had only been members for two or three months. Some of them had just newly come to the Church. And they were receiving revelations. And Joseph was unpacking the gospel, just like we're unpacking these verses. He was receiving one revelation after another after another, to lay the groundwork upon which he would build the gospel of Jesus Christ. But what he goes to is so interesting, because in verse 14, he says—

Tammy 29:12

I just have to say because when I read in 13, you've "turned away from my commandments." I'm like, well, they were probably lying, maybe a little stealing. I'm going through all the 10 commandments in my mind. Okay, and I was not expecting this.

Yeah, yeah, you think he's gonna say, So straighten up and be kind, be all those things. But no, here's what He says. In verse 14, He says, "There were among you adulterers and adulteresses; some of whom have turned away from you, and others remain with you that hereafter shall be revealed."

Heidi Swinton 29:44

And you think, "Whoa, wait a minute." And immediately your head goes to adulterers and adulteresses, which are, as we put it in the context today, you know, it's a sexual sin. And you think, "Whoa, there was a lot of that going on then?" And maybe there was, but I think more so what he's saying, the Lord uses adulterers in other contexts throughout the scriptures.

Tammy 30:12

And I'm so glad you're bringing this up,

Heidi Swinton 30:14

And you go back to the 10 virgins, and you go back to those who were not prepared to receive Him who had violated the commandments, and therefore had broken their covenant with God. And breaking their covenant with God was like breaking your covenant with the bridegroom. And so here you have suddenly adulterers adulteresses who, yeah, they might be engaging in sexual sin, but more so they are engaging in compromising their covenants with the Lord Jesus Christ. I love the description in the 10 virgins where you He says, "I never knew you," which is the way the Bible reads, but the Joseph Smith translation says, "You never knew Me."

So these people who have compromised their faith in Jesus Christ, and are simply seeking signs and wonders, rather than putting themselves in the context of being a covenant keeper, the Lord says hmm, not going to have anything to do with you ,He says. It's going to be revealed who you are, and what you're like. What you're like is, you're like Ezra Booth. What you're like, is you're like others who, in the years ahead in Kirtland - the greatest apostasy in the church happened in Kirtland. Those people who had seen angels on the roof in the middle of the day, turned against the Lord because signs could not hold them close to Him.

The only thing that could hold their hearts close to Him was their ability to be His people to live His commandments, which He says in the very first verse. So He lays it all out, and then brings in this shocker of, "This is what I'm going to call you, because I'm the bridegroom, and you are violating your covenant with me."

Tammy 32:10

Absolutely. That was so great. I love the discussion of that because adultery, adulterous can be such a big broad word. And it can mean any of these things. And then the Lord inserts verse 17, which I want us to cross reference Revelation chapter 21, verse 8, because the same verse of scripture is found there in Revelation chapter 21, verse 8, and we're just going to read this verse because there's some things you need to know about it. So, Heidi, will you read verse 17, for us. And we're gonna highlight some words and give you the meaning in Greek, because this verse is just packed with so much in it, that we need to study it. So go ahead, Heidi.

Heidi Swinton 32:47

Okay, He says: "Wherefore I, the Lord, have said that the fearful, and the unbelieving, and all liars, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, and the whoremonger and the sorcerer, shall have their part in that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Tammy 33:07

In verse 17, mark the word "fearful." I really like that this word actually means cowardly, those who are cowardly, and the unbelieving, and all the liars.

And then this was interesting: "Whosoever maketh a lie and the whoremonger." Mark that one. I would often have students say, What is a whoremonger? The Greek word for whoremonger is pornos. That's right, you heard that correctly. Pornos is a sexually immoral person and it is where we get the word pornography from.

And then it says, "and the sorcerer". When I read that I was like, huh. A sorcerer is actually in Greek, pharmakos. And it's people using drugs for religious incantations, and they drug people into living by their illusions. It's where we get pharmacy from, which I thought was kind of cool. But right there, it's talking about a sorcerer who uses these religious experiences to kind of make people think other things.

It says they shall have "part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." Now, this is super figurative. But I just have to share this funny quote from President Hinckley, it's so good. So he gave this in the 1993 general conference. This is before the conference center was built, and everybody was just packed so tight into the tabernacle. And I could totally see from Heidi's face you remember this quote, don't you?

Heidi Swinton 34:22

I do, and this is so President Hinckley.

Tammy 34:24

Yeah, and it was so hot in the tabernacle that day. Heidi, I want you to read what he said.

Heidi Swinton 34:30

"We know that it's warm in here. We're sorry. You're really not nearly as warm as you will be if you don't repent!"

Tammy 34:38

That was great, that was such a great moment!

Heidi Swinton 34:42

Well, it just makes it so simple. I mean, there's fire and brimstone, that catches your attention. But President Hinckley's just saying in his amenable way, you know, if you don't repent, you're going to be in a hot place.

Tammy 34:55

Totally! Well, and then it talks about it at the end of this verse where it says, "which is the second death." Tell us about that, Heidi. What does it mean, the second death?

Well, the second death is to lose the spirit and to lose the presence of the Father. And you can't come back from that. The second death takes you all the way over the edge. And most people don't grasp that, and don't think about it until they're over the edge, and they've lost the desire to be somewhere else.

I'm glad you said that; they've lost the desire, they want nothing to do with it. It's not that the Lord has given up on them, no, that's not the case at all. It's that they have made the decision, they don't want the Lord in their lives. There's no way beyond the reach of the Atonement,

Heidi Swinton 35:42

But you have to reach for it. And the second death comes from you making the decision that you're not going to reach.

Tammy 35:51

Thank You. Then in verses 18 through 20, there's some interesting wording here that we need to just kind of note and I want you to highlight these words. It says:

"Verily I say, that they shall not have part in the first resurrection.

"And now behold, I, the Lord say unto you, that ye," highlight, "ye." When you see ye in scripture, it's a plural form, it's collective. So He's speaking to everyone, "ye are not justified, because these things are among you.

"Nevertheless, he," highlight that because now he's talking to us singularly, "he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome." It's kind of what we just talked about, he that reaches for the Lord shall overcome. And then the beauty in all of this is verse 23. Heidi and I both love this verse. It's the one verse we talked about when we were saying, "Here's what we want to talk about." And, Heidi, I'm gonna let you take it over. Why do we love this verse so much?

Well, it talks about keeping the commandments because "if you keep my commandments, the mysteries of my kingdom are going to be unfolded to you. And the same shall be a well of living water springing up into everlasting life."

Heidi Swinton 36:56

Well, the thing that you think of immediately is the woman at the well, who didn't keep His commandments. But He sat down with her and began to teach her about the well of living water, and that it purifies you, essentially. It washes through you, that gospel of Jesus Christ, and it distances you, gives you that spiritual wall around you, essentially, that you are going to be prepared for having part in the first resurrection. You're going to have that moment where the mysteries of God will not be mysteries anymore, because your heart will be ready to receive them. And you will have been looking to the eternities with such fervor and such desire to do the will of God, that as His will is made manifest to you, you'll say, "Of course, it makes sense." It becomes a part of you.

And so you know, when you keep His commandments, the simplicity of that is if you keep the commandments, the promises are sure. And if you fudge on them, they're not. And the more you fudge, the closer you get to the edge. I think that well of living water springs up into eternal life. Well, it also springs up into you becoming an instrument for the Lord to use in so many other things.

And your well of living water is making a difference in so many other people's lives, that you carry light, you carry goodness, you have the hands of mercy. All of that, people would see as mysteries because, how do you get that? How do you want that? You get that and want that by obeying the commandments.

Tammy 38:42

Well, and I wanted to ask you, Heidi, what are the mysteries of the kingdom? You read that and you think, "Ooh there must be something really cool we don't know. Is it like, is it secret?" I don't know. I mean, a lot of people see the words "mysteries of the kingdom," I think there must be more. I mean, obviously, there is but what does it really mean when we read that in scripture, the "mysteries of the kingdom" ?

The "mysteries of the kingdom" are the promises of eternal life that come with the opportunity to be like the Father. That's no mystery when you become one with Him. You don't have to wait until the next life to have the mysteries unfolded and on big screen TV. The mysteries become a part of you because you want less and less to be part of the world and more and more to be part of God's kingdom. And Joseph unfolds the mysteries and he tells them things. And with each revelation, there's a new mystery unfolded. And with each living of the commandments, there is a new mystery unfolded, that you have the opportunity to become like God. That's the essence of it.

Oh my gosh, Heidi, okay, as you were just teaching that to us, I looked over at verse 23. And I had this thought that for me connects to all of this. So this verse is referring to John chapter 4, verse 10, which is the story about the woman at the well. And in that story, the Savior is talking to a sinful woman. And then He teaches her a mystery of the kingdom. He declares his Messiahship for the very first time, to a woman, who is not perfect. But she was willing to listen to Him at that moment. And she opened her heart to Him in that moment to engage in a conversation. And He believed that He could then say to her, who He was, and He revealed the greatest mystery of the kingdom,

The greatest mystery of the kingdom revealed to her and then what did she do with it? That's the next piece. She runs to the city to say, "Come and see what I have learned. He showed me all things that I've done. He's the Messiah."

Heidi Swinton 40:46

So speaking to these people who are new members of the Church, they've been living like she has, some of them. And they've been off the grid in terms of the commandments, that as Joseph is preaching to them, the Lord says to them, you can be like her; you can be like the woman at the well, you can receive this everlasting purity. And you can go out and preach that gospel to others. You can be my emissaries, my people. Like He said, you call yourself my people? Well, this is how you become my people.

Tammy 41:24

It's what you said earlier, Heidi: you want a sign? Have faith in Jesus Christ. And then immediately in verse 24, He says, listen, I need you guys to assemble in Zion. That's what I need you to do with this information now. And it's fun, because in verse 24, when He says, "Go to Zion, but not in haste." Mark that because it actually was given by assignment. He didn't want everyone to just all of a sudden, now let's all leave Ohio. You actually ended up being called; people were individually called. Now it's your family's time to go; now you guys can go. And so that's what that means in that verse.

And the Lord didn't want the Mormons to just descend upon Missouri en masse because there were going to be conflicts. And He knew that and there were going to be difficulties establishing things. And He knew that. So He wanted them to come in slowly.

Perfect. So in the next segment, we're going to talk about that; we're going to talk about how the Lord wants the saints to go do this, and the role that two specific men are going to play in all of this.

Segment 4

Tammy 42:28

We're just going to start out with verses 25 through 26. Because I really, really loved these. When I first read these two verses, I was thinking, "What in the world?" So I studied them, and now it makes so much more sense. The Lord is a rule keeper. I think this is so cool. So Heidi, will you we read these two verses?

"Behold, the land of Zion—I, the Lord, hold it in my own hands;

Heidi Swinton 42:50

"Nevertheless, I, the Lord render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's."

I LOVE it!

Tammy 42:58

Yeah, tell me why you love it, Heidi?

Well, I love it because He's putting Zion juxtaposed against Caesar. And Caesar's the world; Caesar is the way things are done in the world. And Zion is the way things are done in His hands.

And I love how He's like, Zion's mine, because I'm God, I created everything, but we're going to keep the state laws, we're gonna do what we need to do.

So in order to obtain the land in Zion, we have to do it the right way, you can't just come in all crazy and start fighting people. And that's what the rest of these verses are. He's like, you need to purchase the land, even though it's my land. I'm God, you're my people, but you're still going to have to purchase the land and do it the right way.

And unfortunately, they didn't take that council to heart. Because some of the Saints went in and said, "This is our land, and the Lord's gonna wipe you off the face of this land because this is our land." And you know, people didn't take kindly to that, especially people who would move out to the frontier, which is what this was. These were not people who clip their nails.

Um, I'm sorry. Did everyone just catch that? Heidi, you just said your litmus test for civility is people who clip their nails. That is so funny.

I mean, these were people that just had a sense of mine is mine.

And it was the edge of the frontier, right? And no one really lived any further. I mean, God took them as far west as they could go.

Heidi Swinton 44:26

Yeah. And suddenly, this band of people who think alike, act alike, live by each other, trade with each other, work with each other are not going to be the best of neighbors.

Tammy 44:38

So tell us how they got the land then; there's a plan of how they're going to have the money and they're gonna pay for the land. This story is so great in section 63. And we're going to go in verses 34 through 41. So Heidi, tell us about that. What was the plan?

Well, what they needed to do was come up with the money to do it. Joseph is scrounging around and asking people to give what they have. And he goes to Titus Billings. And Titus Billings was someone who joined the Church very early. He married Diantha Morley, who's Isaac Morley's sister. He lived in that compound of the Morley farm, the commune essentially, where they were trying out sharing everything one with another. And Joseph said toTitus, "Sell the land." And that was a big hunk of land, and a lot of people were living on it. So he took that money and sent it to Zion. He also asked for donations from other people.

Heidi Swinton 45:39

And the good thing about Titus Billings, and that you really need to put in perspective, he's not like Ezra Booth. He doesn't look at Joseph and say, "Hey, this is my land." He says, "Okay, whatever the Lord will have us do to build up Zion,. I'm a part of that." And so he went right along with it, and then went to Missouri.

And you know, there was precedent for this established when Titus Billings sold the land because when they all moved to Missouri, and abandoned Kirtland, Oliver Granger was left there to sell the rest of the land, so that they could have additional funds to buy more land in Missouri. And then Edward Partridge would disperse the land among the saints that he had purchased, so that they could begin to build up Zion. And some people bought their own land, and then lost their property as they were forced from Missouri.

When he says in verse 37, "That every man should take righteousness in his hands and faithfulness upon his loins, and lift a warning voice unto the inhabitants of the earth; and declare both by word and by flight that desolation shall come upon the wicked." They kind of took that as a rubber stamp to make it known that this is what is going to happen. But that's not what the Lord intended. He intended for them, to reach out to others and draw them into the fold. And "take righteousness in your hands." Righteousness means that you will live the commandments, and that you will love one another as I have loved you, and that you will love your neighbor as yourself. And that you will recognize that our goal is to gather everyone to Zion; it's still our goal. And faithfulness. Make faithfulness who you are, faithful to me, not an adulterer, but faithful to me.

Tammy 47:40

Well, it's interesting when it says faithfulness in his loins, because the loins are the part of your body that are basically mid-ribs, down to mid-thigh. It's your innards, it's your whole insides, it's everything that makes you up. And so thinking about taking faithfulness upon your loins and just lifting a warning voice unto the inhabitants of the world, that is a huge ask.

A warning voice is different than a demonstrable anger and frustration. He tempered it, and then you know, your flight. You're leaving Kirtland, you're going out onto the frontier.

Heidi Swinton 48:18

And you're going out there because there will be people like people today, who leave their home country and go to another. And that prompts them to make decisions that seem to be foolish to some, you know. If you're going to prosper in the land, you got to hang on to what you got. No, not at all.

Tammy 48:42

Titus, why would you sell all that land? That is crazy.

Yeah. And he did. And he did it willingly. And there was no begrudging it. And then he went to Missouri and locked arms with the rest of the Saints, some of whom fell away in Missouri. And some of them were really important figures in the Church. And they drifted and then they dropped off, and lift warning voice to them and to the inhabitants of the whole earth. He's always speaking in grand terms. No, He isn't allowing us to just carve out our little niche and don't ask me to go any farther than this. He's always asking us to go outside the box, and look for others who are ready to receive.

I love that you said that Heidi, because it's making me think of this perverbial approach, which is, "What am I willing to sell? What am I willing to give for the Lord?"

I would love to know your stories. If anyone has a personal story that you'd be willing to share. watch this week in Instagram on Facebook. I'm going to ask you to share that story, I really want to know. And for those of you listening, if you have a journal, just kind of write that question down. And let's see this week how the Lord leads you to answer that question. Because in the next segment, we're going to talk about two men who had two completely different responses to that question. And I'm excited for Heidi to teach us about these two men.

Segment 5

Tammy 50:16

So before we start this segment, I just have to say that I totally feel for the person in these verses, because I hate being in trouble. And that's kind of how these verses felt to me. So Heidi, what can you teach us about these verses?

And it's just interesting: we have two men who have been asked, "What are you willing to give? What are you willing to sell?" And two completely different responses. So teach us about section 63, verses 41 through 56.

Heidi Swinton 50:41

Yeah, it goes a long ways. Well, it begins with Newell K. Whitney. And we all know that name because of the Whitney store and because so much that happened at the Whitney store. That's where Joseph held the School of the Prophets, that's where Joseph lived for awhile. But the story of Joseph connecting with Newell K. Whitney tells you that there was some real magic that was going to go on there.

Newell K. Whitney had become a shopkeeper. He was successful, he knew how to do this. And he and his wife had settled in Kirtland and built up this store. But you know, they were looking for something, they were seekers. And that was pretty typical at the time. People were seeking truth and seeking more than that, they wanted to feel the Holy Ghost. They had this sense that with the Holy Ghost with them, life would be as it should be. And so they'd been praying about it, and they received an answer from their prayer. And there was this cloud that circled around their home, their store. It's not a whirlwind, it's just the cloud. And it circles around their store. And then they hear a voice out of the cloud. And it says, "Prepare to receive the word of the Lord, for it is coming."

Imagine! It's like Moses. This is the Lord. And then I imagine they're watching and they're waiting. Well, along comes this man who strides into the store. This is February of 1831. And Joseph strides into his store and he puts his hand across the counter. And he says, "Newell K. Whitney, thou art the man." And Newell K. Whitney sort of looks at him and he says, "Well, you know, you kind of caught me unawares. I'm not sure I know who you are." And he says, "I'm Joseph Smith. And you've prayed me here. Now, what do you want of me?" So here's the answer. Newell K. Whitney, he knows right who he is. He's never met him, but he knows his name. He looks at him. He shakes his hand. "Thou art the man."

Don't you love that? I love the energy that translated right there. That they became not just associates, they became spiritual companions, because they both had received spiritual witness about what was going to happen there.

From that point, Newell K.Whitney is right there with Joseph. He's just working with him, he's participating in all the things that are going on. And Joseph says to him, "I'm sending people to Missouri; you're not going, you've got to stay here and sell everything that you can. And everything that you can spare, send to Missouri."

Tammy 52:48

And I learned that his store, Newell K. Whitney's store, was the largest store in Northeast Ohio. Not a little "mom and pop" like this is a big store. A lot of people come to this store.

Yeah. It was the L.L. Bean of that day.

Perfect! Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Heidi Swinton 53:52

Yeah, but people came from all over, because everywhere around those Great Lakes, the Whitney store was so well known. And when you go there, even today, it was large for what was built in those days. So you know, he's got all the shelves and everything that's on them.

But what he had was the Spirit that I think drew people to him. I think that the Lord enabled funding to come to the church through the Whitney store, because he knew that Newell was good for it. And Joseph knew that; people flooded into his store to make purchases.

Tammy 54:31

And I love these verses about him, in verses 43 and 44. Because we are introduced to him in 42, the Newell K. Whitney store, everything you told us. But I just love how the Lord says in verse 43, and 44 "nevertheless, let him impart all the money which he can impart, to be sent up unto the land of Zion.

"Behold, these things are in his own hands, let him do according to his wisdom." The Lord's like, and I totally trust him. He'll do exactly what I need him to do.

Heidi Swinton 54:57

You know, you can even compare him with Ezra Booth, who was from the same community. Newell saw a lot of signs. He saw a lot of things happen in that store. And he participated in a lot of really spiritual experiences. But his contribution, he knew from the start: The Holy Ghost was with him and he was going to participate and do what the Lord wanted him to do. Wouldn't you love to know that the Lord could count on you? He can call on you, and you will do it.

Tammy 55:29

That you are the man or woman.

"You're one of my people," like it says in the first verse, I can count on you. You're faithful. You're good. I know you're going to be there for me.

Yeah. So we have this Newell K. Whitney, and then we're going to juxtapose him with Sidney Rigdon. So turn the page and let's go to verses 55 and 56.

Heidi Swinton 55:51

Sidney rigdon is such an interesting figure in early Church history. Because Sidney Rigdon joins the Church, he was an incredible preacher. He was the Jeff Holland of his day, I'm sure, just by the fact that he filled congregations with people and they loved him. And they all came to listen to him. But he had an opportunity to read the Book of Mormon and when he read the Book of Mormon, he was converted, and he was baptized. This is like 1830. So this is right at the same time that these scriptures are going on. He stood up before his whole congregation and told them about his conversion and how he know it was true. Well, you can imagine so many of them who relied upon him, then turned to Joseph Smith, and the gospel of Jesus Christ, and made that transition.

So he becomes a key figure in the Church from 1830 to 1838. He acts as the scribe for Joseph Smith in the translation of the Bible. He dedicated the ground for Zion, and then Joseph, the next day, blessed the land. Then the Lord asks Sidney to write a description of Zion, something that they can use, that can help people to know what it is they're going to. Because they've got this false impression of what it's going to be. He writes it, "I am Sidney Rigdon. I am a fabulous preacher. I can bring words down from the sky, and it will make it work and everybody will be impressed." And then the Lord says to him Hmm, I don't think so.

Tammy 57:37

Read these verses for us, 55 and 56.

So in verse 55, he says, "And now Behold, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, am not pleased with my servant, Sidney Rigdon; he exalted himself in his heart, and received not counsel, but grieved the spirit;"

Heidi Swinton 57:57

Now contrast that with Newell K. Whitney, who pleaded for the Spirit. And the Lord heard his pleadings and knew that Newell K. Whitney would be receptive to the Spirit, and would receive it and act upon promptings. And now he's saying of Sidney Rigdon: Huh! You grieved the spirit.

"Wherefore his writing is not acceptable unto the Lord, and He shall have to make another; and if the Lord receive it not, behold he standeth no longer in the office to which I have appointed him."

Tammy 58:33

Oh, gosh! I just feel so bad for Sidney! My heart is like, oh, Sidney.

Well, as a writer, I've written some first drafts that didn't work. I have some seconds and thirds and fourths and fifths. Yeah, I mean, we've all been there. I have learned that when you get down on your knees and you say to the Lord, "I've got to do this and I don't know how. And I will do all of the preparation I can to make myself able to receive, but I need to hear you."

Heidi Swinton 59:05

Sidney didn't do that. Sidney took it unto himself, according to these verses, and what we read in other ancillary material, to have everybody know that Sidney Rigdon could write good stuff. Joseph Smith can write revelations and so can Sidney Rigdon write good stuff.

But that wasn't what the Lord was asking for. And so he gives him a knock-down, you know, he's just sort of, hey, Sidney, you've exalted yourself in your heart. That goes right back to the very beginning of Section 63. Do we receive the Lord in our hearts? Or do we exalt ourselves, and we're thinking we're more than we are? And that's what Sidney faced. So Sidney has to go at it a second time.

Think that yourself, how many times have you tried something and it not only didn't work, but you knew the Lord wasn't with you when you did it. And so he goes at it a second time. And I think Sidney has now learned something. And so he goes to the Lord and petitions the Lord, having learned where to go for help, and his second version is acceptable to the Lord.

Tammy 1:00:17

It's awesome. I mean, there's just this idea of these people and where I've been in my own life; have I been a Newell or a Sidney? And it's so easy to be a Sidney in the world we live in today. Oh, my goodness, it is so easy. And it's hard to be a Newell. And it just makes me think, what am I willing to sell? What am I willing to give? And where is my heart?

Heidi Swinton 1:00:36

And Sydney's heart, he's still reckoned back to who he was before he joined the Church, you know, and yet the Lord accepts him. We'll read in scripture, that the Lord says that Sidney is to be a scribe for Joseph as he's translating the Bible. So He doesn't dismiss him and say, you had your chance and you're through. The Lord always gives us a second chance, and a third and a fourth and a fifth, like we talked about. He didn't throw him into the fiery brimstone; he let Sidney have an opportunity to come back.

Tammy 1:01:09

And he will. And again, going to sections 71 through 75, Sidney will come back into play with all of this.

And can I just add something about 76? What I love is that when Sidney sees the Savior, and he's with Joseph Smith, this is the moment when Joseph can now say in scripture, "We." It's not, "I" anymore, it's, "We."

He has a friend.

He has a friend, a witness. Look how long it's taken. He's into the 76th revelation for him to be able to put it down. We saw the Lord Jesus Christ.

Heidi, that was such a great discussion. Thank you for telling us all that information about Newell and about Sidney and the roles they played. We had a great discussion about verse 58, when the Lord says, "For this as a day of warning, and not a day of many words. For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in the last days."

And it was interesting because I thought, not many words. Who we are has a lot to do with what we do, versus what we are saying. And that's what the Lord is trying to say to Sidney, like, I want you to be true to me; it doesn't really have a lot to do with what you can write or how superfluous you are in your words. It's who you are. And it doesn't need to be many words. It doesn't have to be wordy or grandiose. And at the end he says, "I am not to be mocked in the last days."

So in the next segment, we are going to dive into what he means there and what he teaches us in the rest of this section.

Segment 6

Tammy 1:02:48

Heidi, as a kid, did you ever have to have your mouth washed out with soap?

Heidi Swinton 1:02:51

I was a perfect child.

Tammy 1:02:53

Oh, I should have known [laughter].

But I had some very serious heart to heart talks, knee to knee.

That's a great way to approach that.

I never had my mouth washed out with soap because I didn't swear in front of my parents. I was such a naughty kid. I'm not even kidding. Fourth grade, on the playground, my really good friend at the time said, "Listen, if you say 'quote' before you swear and then 'quote' after, you're just quoting someone."

So we, wow, we would say quote and then let 'er rip and say every swear word we could think of and at the end we'd say, "unquote." I don't think I learned that that wasn't a real thing until maybe sixth grade when a friend of mine heard me do it. She goes, "You know that's not real." I'm like, "What?" I really was under the idea that I could do that. I was naughty. I am ashamed now; I didn't know better, now I know. I don't do that, I don't do that at all.

And section 63 versus 61 through 64 teaches us the principle that we should not take the Lord's name in vain, as well as the deeper meaning behind that third commandment. So let's jump into this. And Heidi, as you were reading these verses, what are some things you marked that you thought were important?

When He says in verse 60: "Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ." It elevates this whole discussion because He says, I have lots of names. And my names are far above the colloquial description. Alpha and Omeg, nobody talks about Alpha and Omega, but he's putting it in that context. So you know, I'm interested in that.

Heidi Swinton 1:04:33

And then in verse 61, he says, "Wherefore, let all men beware how they take my name in their lips." Let all men. You know, this isn't just the people in my little cadre of gospel seekers. This is let all men know I'm putting you on notice how you take my name to your lips.

It's almost like at the beginning, the first 6 verses. He's laying it down This is the way it is. And you've got to be awfully careful. Because when you think about it, we do everything in the name of Jesus Christ, and we do it with humility, and with a sense of reverence. And that's because He has made it clear that we, you know, take His name upon us, meaning His name is sacred.

And we have to be careful about that. When people finish giving a talk, and they say, "and IsaythisinthenameofJesusChrist,Amen." And they just dash off to sit in their chair. The most important thing you have said today is, "in the name of Jesus Christ." So if you're gonna take it to your lips, it has to be done with honor.

Tammy 1:05:48

Oh, Heidi, I love that you just said that. Because, in verse 62, when He says, ". . . who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority." That word "vain" means useless or pointless.

It's what you just said; I love that you said we do everything in the name of Jesus Christ. And that's what this is talking about. Is he talking about the commandment to not take his name in vain in a conversation? Absolutely. But it's bigger, it's a big umbrella. In verse 64, just the beginning of it, it's this: "Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care." Boy, isn't that true? How are we taking the Lord's name in vain?

Now there's one other thing that I think fits into this, and that is when we say, ". . . who use the name of the Lord and use it in vain, having not authority." I think, sometimes, we make a decision that the Lord wants us to say this or do that. Or we share sacred things that the Lord has given us that are for us. We have to be careful that we don't use things that the Lord has shared with us to make us look good. That's being taken in vain. It's never about us. It is always about the Lord Jesus Christ. And if our faith is intact, and we are connected to the Lord, that's enough. We just need to know He was there. And that He made it happen.

Okay, Heidi, I really appreciated that you just pointed this out. My mind is swirling with this because I've had a discussion with some friends about sharing sacred experiences. It almost seems like we've swung the pendulum so far to not sharing spiritual experiences, that oftentimes I hear people wonder, do they even exist anymore? And so what you said is so profound because I think it's okay to share sacred experiences in certain settings, if the sole purpose is to magnify the Lord and His power. But if we're sharing those experiences to make it about us, that for sure is taking the Lord's name in vain. Oh, my gosh, my mind is spinning. I've loved this.

Well, and I love that you say because we carry the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we've made that covenant with him by our very actions. Our actions also can take his name in vain. So when we decide to not observe the commandments, when we decide to break that trust, we're taking His name in vain.

When we decide to not love others, when you decide to treat people differently because they're different than we. It's all-encompassing because those are His children, and He loves them. It's such a big topic. So I love it. I love what you taught us, Heidi, thank you. Thank you so much.

That's the end, we're done! That went by fast. Now everyone listening can see why Heidi needed to be on section 63 because she is so knowledgeable. I can't wait to listen to her podcast, it's going to be so much fun. So go look for it. It's called Joseph. You can find it on Deseret Bookshelf Plus this summer. So Heidi, what was your takeaway from this episode?

Oh, that one is easy for me. Because as I was talking about the war chapters, it's the first time I ever realized I had war chapters in my own life. And when I said that, I knew that it came from the Lord, that was just pure inspiration for me to think about that. And when I read the war chapters, I'm gonna think about how differently I feel because of how the Lord resolves things. And you know, section 63 is the beginning of a war chapter. I think it's interesting, that we had this opportunity today, to make the focus so clearly on Jesus Christ, on the sanctity of His name, on the willingness to abide by faith, and to put ourselves in the category where we not only call ourselves the people of Christ, He calls us His children.

Amen. I love that so much. Mine's the same one. When you said that about the war chapter, I was like, "She's right! Everyone has their own war chapters." Then I was imagining all of the tactics and am I hedging up my way? Am I protecting the fortress? What am I doing? And that was really powerful.

And then I loved how we just kept coming back to verse 1. And that verse, as much as I loved it when we started, now I love it even more. It's the perfect way to start out the beginning of this war chapter. It's exactly what the Lord needs us to know, to do everything in section 63, that idea of the heart and hearken and listen from afar.

So that was a fun discussion, and I loved it. So thank you. Thanks for teaching me, Heidi. That was a great day.

Heidi Swinton 1:10:36

I loved this.

Tammy 1:10:37

Ah, we'll have you back again if that's okay.

I would love THAT! I'm ready.

Okay. Well, for those of you who are listening, we'd love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. So if you've not already joined our Instagram or Facebook group, just go do it. It's so fun because everybody asks questions throughout the week. They answer each other's questions, it's an incredible faith community. I love it. And then every Saturday, we share a post asking for your takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson. I read all of them and then on Monday, I usually share one that stood out to me.

You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on It's not a bad idea to go there anyway, because that's where we have the links to all the references and the transcript of this entire discussion. So go check that out.

The Sunday on Monday study group is a Desert Bookshelf plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today, our incredible study group participant was Heidi Swinton. And you can find more information about her at

Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me. It's recorded and mixed by Mix at 6 Studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here and we will see you next week. And please remember, that you really are God's favorite.

You know what my favorite treat is right now? Chewy Sprees. I can't get enough of 'em.

Heidi Swinton 1:11:56


Tammy 1:11:57

It's the best candy!

Heidi Swinton 1:11:58

My grandkids like those. I'm a chocolate person. Just drizzle chocolate on the top of i, it doesn't matter what it is, I'll eat it. Carrots, celery.

Tammy 1:12:14

That's perfect, carrots! "Mom, what's this for dinner?" "We're having cut up carrots and celery with chocolate drizzle."

Heidi Swinton 1:12:22

There you go. Homemade, of course.

Transcribed by Jenee Uzelac

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Doctrine and Covenants 63:1–6: God is in charge

What is the Lord asking us to do in verse one?

Hearken, O ye people, and open your hearts and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the apeople of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you (Doctrine and Covenants 63:1).

  • Hearken (in Hebrew Shama)
  • Open your hearts
  • Give ear from afar
  • Listen

God is in Charge

Who willeth to take even them whom he will atake, and bpreserveth in life them whom he will preserve;

Who buildeth up at his own will and apleasure; and destroyeth when he pleases, and is able to bcast the soul down to hell.

Behold, I, the Lord, utter my voice, and it shall be aobeyed (Doctrine and Covenants 63:3–5).

Title for Section 63: Sign Seekers; How Zion is Redeemed

Section 63 Heading:

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, August 30, 1831. The Prophet, Sidney Rigdon, and Oliver Cowdery had arrived in Kirtland on August 27 from their visit to Missouri. Joseph Smith’s history describes this revelation: “In these infant days of the Church, there was a great anxiety to obtain the word of the Lord upon every subject that in any way concerned our salvation; and as the land of Zion was now the most important temporal object in view, I enquired of the Lord for further information upon the gathering of the Saints, and the purchase of the land, and other matters.”

Healing of Elsa Johnson:

“Ezra Booth, of Mantua, a Methodist preacher of much more than ordinary culture, and with strong natural abilities, in company with his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, and some other citizens of this place [Hiram], visited Smith at his home in Kirtland, in 1831. Mrs. Johnson had been afflicted for some time with a lame arm, and was not at the time of the visit able to lift her hand to her head. The party visited Smith partly out of curiosity, and partly to see for themselves what there might be in the new doctrine. During the interview the conversation turned on the subject of supernatural gifts, such as were conferred in the days of the apostles. Some one said, ‘Here is Mrs. Johnson with a lame arm; has God given any power to man now on the earth to cure her?’ A few moments later, when the conversation had turned in another direction, Smith rose, and walking across the room, taking Mrs. Johnson by the hand, said in the most solemn and impressive manner: ‘Woman, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I command thee to be whole,’ and immediately left the room. The company were awe-stricken at the infinite presumption of the man, and the calm assurance with which he spoke. The sudden mental and moral shock—I know not how better to explain the well-attested fact—electrified the rheumatic arm—Mrs. Johnson at once lifted it up with ease, and on her return home the next day she was able to do her washing without difficulty or pain" (History of the Church 1:216, Hayden’s History of the Disciples, pp. 250-1).

Ezra Booth in Missouri

"Ezra Booth had been a respected Methodist preacher in northeastern Ohio.6 His conversion created a small stir among his friends and acquaintances, who lamented his joining the 'Mormonites.'7 Booth had felt strongly prompted to join the new faith. 'The impressions of my mind were deep and powerful,' he recalled, 'and my feelings were excited to a degree to which I had been a stranger.'8

"But by the time of his departure in June 1831, Booth had begun to doubt. The spiritual manifestations at the conference did not meet his expectations, and he was upset that Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon left for Missouri on a wagon, while he and Isaac were called to walk the entire distance in the summer heat, preaching along the way.

"The journey was inconvenient for others as well. Joseph Smith departed just weeks after he and Emma lost twins shortly after birth. He left his grieving wife, who would have to care for herself and the newly adopted Murdock twins (whose mother, Julia, had died in late April and whose father, John, would also make the trip to Missouri).

"When Ezra Booth finally arrived in Missouri, he felt deflated. He and others 'expected to find a country abounding with the necessaries and comforts of life.' Instead, he looked around and noted that 'the prospect appeared somewhat gloomy.'9 Booth remembered Joseph Smith confidently asserting before the trip that the Church in Missouri would be large and growing, but when they arrived they found only seven new members.

"Joseph Smith himself might have been disappointed initially when he arrived in Missouri. The area around Independence was mostly open prairie with a few scattered trees. Far from inspiring visions of a millennial capital, the frontier town itself was 'a century behind the times.'10 For most of the elders, the reality on the ground in Missouri was a disappointment. But they would deal with that disappointment in different ways (Matthew McBride, "Ezra Booth and Isaac Morley," Revelations in Context, ).

Ezra Booth Returns to Ohio

"Shortly after his return to Ohio, Ezra Booth parted ways with the Church in a very public fashion. Because his experience did not match his expectations of how Zion should look or how Joseph Smith should behave, he first wavered and then abandoned his faith. Beginning that October, the Ohio Star, a newspaper located in Ravenna, Ohio, began publishing a series of letters Booth penned, heavily criticizing Joseph Smith and the Church.

"By December his letters had even started to hinder missionary work, and Joseph Smith received two revelations in December 1831 and January 1832, now found in Doctrine and Covenants 71 and 73. They challenged Booth and other dissidents such as Symonds Ryder to “bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord.” They also encouraged Joseph and Sidney Rigdon to preach actively: “Confound your enemies; Call upon them to meet you both in publick and in private.”22

"Though Sidney Rigdon challenged Booth and Ryder to public debate, they declined, perhaps aware of Rigdon’s reputation as a fierce debater. Rigdon preached in Ravenna, Ohio, and in other locations, refuting Booth’s claims. Although Booth’s letters had a dampening effect on missionary work, that effect was short-lived.

"Tragically, Booth’s cynicism had driven a wedge not only between him and the restored Church but also between him and his earlier spiritual experiences. He ultimately 'abandoned Christianity and became an agnostic.'"23 (Matthew McBride, "Ezra Booth and Isaac Morley," Revelations in Context, ).

10 Yea, asigns come by bfaith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God (Doctrine and Covenants 63:10).

  • Hebrew: Emunah = Faith that is action based


Wherefore, verily I say, let the wicked take heed, and let the arebellious bfear and tremble; and let the unbelieving hold their lips, for the cday of wrath shall come upon them as a dwhirlwind, and all flesh shall eknow that I am God (Doctrine and Covenants 63:6).

23 Behold, the awhirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with bpain upon the head of the wicked (Jeremiah 30:23).

  • Hebrew: Whirlwind = Storm of the Lord

How to combat whirlwinds in our lives:

Quote: "The very first word in the Doctrine and Covenants is hearken.12 It means 'to listen with the intent to obey.'13 To hearken means to 'hear Him'—to hear what the Savior says and then to heed His counsel. In those two words—'Hear Him'—God gives us the pattern for success, happiness, and joy in this life. We are to hear the words of the Lord, hearken to them, and heed what He has told us!" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Hear Him," April 2020 general conference).

10 And verily I say unto thee that thou shalt lay aside the athings of this bworld, and cseek for the things of a dbetter (Doctrine and Covenants 25:10).

Hearken, O ye people, and open your hearts and give ear from afar; and listen, you that call yourselves the apeople of the Lord, and hear the word of the Lord and his will concerning you (Doctrine and Covenants 63:1).

Joseph Smith opening his heart in Liberty Jail:

O God, awhere art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy bhiding place? (Doctrine and Covenants 121:1).

Segment 3

Why the Lord was not pleased with the Saints:

12 Wherefore, I, the Lord, am not pleased with those among you who have sought after signs and wonders for faith, and not for the good of men unto my glory.

13 Nevertheless, I give commandments, and many have turned away from my commandments and have anot kept them (Doctrine and Covenants 63:12–13).

14 There were among you aadulterers and adulteresses; some of whom have turned away from you, and others remain with you that hereafter shall be revealed (Doctrine and Covenants 63:14).

Quote: "Sometimes adultery is used as a symbol for the apostasy of a nation or a whole people from the ways of the Lord" (Num. 25:1–3; Jer. 3:6–10; Ezek. 16:15–59; Hosea 4) ("Adultery," Bible Dictionary,

Parable of the 10 Virgins: Matthew 25:1–14

12 But he answered and said, aVerily I say unto you, I bknow you not (Matthew 25:12).

  • JST: Verily I say unto you, Ye know me not.

17 Wherefore, I, the Lord, have said that the afearful, and the bunbelieving, and all cliars, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie, and the dwhoremonger, and the esorcerer, shall have their part in that flake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the gsecond death (Doctrine and Covenants 63:17).

But the fearful, and aunbelieving, and the abominable, and bmurderers, and cwhoremongers, and dsorcerers, and idolaters, and all eliars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the fsecond gdeath (Revelations 21:8).

  • Fearful = Cowardly
  • Whoremonger = Comes from the Greek word pornos to mean a sexual immoral person.
  • Sorcerer = Comes from the Greek word pharmokos to mean people who using drugs and “religious incantations” to drug people into living by their illusions.
  • Fire and brimstone = Figurative

Video: President Hinckley October 1993 General Conference

Second Death or Spiritual Death:

Quote: "Separation from God and His influences; to die as to things pertaining to righteousness. Lucifer and a third part of the hosts of heaven suffered a spiritual death when they were cast out of heaven (D&C 29:36–37).

"Spiritual death was introduced into the world by the Fall of Adam (Moses 6:48). Mortals with evil thoughts, words, and works are spiritually dead while still alive on earth (1 Tim. 5:6). Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and by obedience to the principles and ordinances of the gospel, men and women can become clean from sin and overcome spiritual death.

"Spiritual death also occurs following the death of the mortal body. Both resurrected beings and the devil and his angels will be judged. Those who have willfully rebelled against the light and truth of the gospel will suffer spiritual death. This death is often called the second death (Alma 12:16; Hel. 14:16–19; D&C 76:36–38)" ("Death, Spiritual," Bible Dictionary, ).

Quote: ". . . however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines" (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Laborers in the Vineyard," April 2012 general conference).

18 Verily I say, that they shall not have part in the afirst resurrection.

19 And now behold, I, the Lord, say unto you that ye are not ajustified, because these things are among you.

  • Ye = Plural

20 Nevertheless, he that aendureth in faith and doeth my bwill, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an cinheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come; (Doctrine and Covenants 63:18–20).

  • He = Singular

Living Water:

23 But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the amysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living bwater, cspringing up unto everlasting life (Doctrine and Covenants 63:23).

The Woman at the Well:

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the aSamaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the agift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee bliving water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never athirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water bspringing up into ceverlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:

18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a aprophet.

20 Our fathers worshipped in athis mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

22 Ye worship ye aknow not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall aworship the Father in spirit and in btruth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 aGod is a bSpirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in ctruth.

25 The woman saith unto him, I know that aMessias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will btell us all things.

26 Jesus saith unto her, aI that speak unto thee am he.

27 ¶ And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?

28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,

29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? (John 4:7–31).

Go to Zion:

24 And now, behold, this is the will of the Lord your God concerning his saints, that they should aassemble themselves together unto the land of Zion, not in haste, lest there should be confusion, which bringeth pestilence (Doctrine and Covenants 63:24).

  • Not in Haste: "It was the will of God that the Saints should gather to Zion but that they should gather slowly. The transfer from Kirtland to Independence had to be gradual. Perhaps one reason was that the Lord knew that a rapid influx of Saints into Jackson County could not be sustained by the resources then available. If too many people went to Zion at once, some would be left unprovided for. A rapid influx of Saints to Zion would also cause concern among the earlier settlers and would eventually create opposition and conflict. When the Saints collectively ignored the will of God that Zion be settled slowly, they were soon impoverished and persecuted just as the Lord had warned" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 63," Deseret Book).

Settling in Missouri:

25 Behold, the land of aZion—I, the Lord, hold it in mine own hands;

26 Nevertheless, I, the Lord, render unto aCæsar the things which are Cæsar’s (Doctrine and Covenants 63:25–26).

  • Caesar: "The earth, including all the property needed for Zion, already belongs to God. Nevertheless, God recognizes the stewardship of civil government, here referred to symbolically as Caesar, and generally works within the systems established by Caesar (see vv. 25–28). As long as government contents itself with its proper stewardship—the things that are Caesar's—then God is willing to operate by Caesar's rules and pay with Caesar's coin" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 63," Deseret Book).

Background for verses 25–40:

"Purchasing the land would theoretically put government and the law on the side of the Saints. The Lord by this time had repeatedly instructed the Church that any lands to be acquired in Zion must be purchased. No other means of acquisition would be acceptable (see D&C 42:35; 45:65; 48:4, 6; 57:4; 58:37, 49, 52).

"Still, some of the Saints would not listen to the repeated word of the Lord but entertained the view that they might take the land of Zion by force of arms just like the children of Israel had taken their promised land from the Canaanites. According to the Doctrine and Covenants, this was never the plan, but the perception among non-Latter-day Saint settlers that this was the aim of the Saints, a perception given credibility by foolish talk among some Mormons, played into Satan's hands in arousing the fear and anger of the mobs" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 63," Deseret Book).

Titus Billings:

"Titus Billings was, like Isaac Morley, a native of Kirtland, and the Morley farm had been left in his hands when Morley went to Missouri. Titus was instructed to sell the land so that the proceeds could be used to purchase land in Independence (see v. 40) and so that the members who were then living on the Morley farm would have to prepare for their move to Zion. By 12 September, less than two weeks after Doctrine and Covenants 63 was received, the Prophet and his family moved out of their little house on the Morley farm and moved in with the John Johnson family in Hiram, Ohio, about thirty miles southeast of Kirtland" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 63," Deseret Book).

Instructions for Moving to Missouri:

37 aAnd that every man should take brighteousness in his hands and cfaithfulness upon his loins, and lift a warning dvoice unto the inhabitants of the earth; and declare both by word and by flight that edesolation shall come upon the wicked (Doctrine and Covenants 63:25–26).

  • Look for others who are willing to receive the gospel

Newel K. Whitney:

"On September 22, 1829, exactly two years after Joseph Smith received the gold plates, the Painesville Telegraph, read in Kirtland, published an article under the heading “Golden Bible,” announcing that someone in New York claimed to have seen the “spirit of the Almighty.”5 During this same period Ann and N. K. had a singular experience while searching out the things of the Spirit with Sidney Rigdon’s group.

"Ann recalled: “It was midnight—as my husband and I, in our house at Kirtland, were praying to the Father to be shown the way, the Spirit rested upon us and a cloud overshadowed the house. … The house passed away from our vision. We were not conscious of anything but the presence of the Spirit and the cloud that was over us. … A solemn awe pervaded us. We saw the cloud and felt the Spirit of the Lord. Then we heard a voice out of the cloud, saying, ‘Prepare to receive the word of the Lord, for it is coming.’ At this we marveled greatly, but from that moment we knew that the word of the Lord was coming to Kirtland”6 (Mark Staker, "Thou Art the Man," Doctrine and Covenants and Church History,

Ann Whitney later recorded this event: “Joseph Smith, with his wife, Emma, … drove up in front of my husband’s store; Joseph jumped out and went in; he reached his hand across the counter to my husband, and called him by name. My husband, not thinking it was any one in whom he was interested, spoke, saying: ‘I could not call you by name as you have me.’ He answered, ‘I am Joseph the Prophet; you have prayed me here, now what do you want of me?’ My husband brought them directly to our own house; we were more than glad to welcome them and share with them all the comforts and blessings we enjoyed.”9

Although the Whitneys were expecting the Prophet’s arrival in Kirtland, they perhaps were not expecting his manner of presentation. Their grandson later recalled that not only did the Prophet call Newel by name, but he also followed it with the unusual phrase “thou art the man.”10

The Smiths stayed at the Whitney home for some weeks, and Joseph reminisced that, while under the care of the Whitneys, his family “received every kindness and attention which could be expected, and especially from Sister Whitney”11 (Mark Staker, "Thou Art the Man," Doctrine and Covenants and Church History,

The Whitney Store:

In Apr. 1826, Whitney purchased quarter-acre lot on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads and built two-story, 1500-square-foot, white store. Mercantile store also functioned as Kirtland Mills post office. Whitney met JS at store, 4 Feb. 1831. Whitney and new partner A. Sidney Gilbert maintained relatively large inventory for northeastern Ohio. White store also helped supply Gilbert and Whitney’s store in Independence, Missouri. JS revelations, 1831–1832, specified that store should also serve as bishop’s storehouse for provisioning poor. In 1832, Whitney family began remodeling store to provide living space for JS and family, who lived there, 12 Sept. 1832–ca. Feb. 1834. Upper room in southeast corner functioned as administrative and translation site. Upper room in northeast corner, built at JS’s request, served as council room and location of School of the Prophets. In these rooms, JS dictated numerous revelations, including one on health code; gave preparatory instruction for missionaries; and worked on translation of Bible. Store ceased operation as N. K. Whitney & Co., 4 Aug. 1838" ("N. K. Whitney & Co. white store, Kirtland Township, Ohio," )

Photo: N.K. Whitney and Co. Store

N.K. Whitney and Co. Store

(Photo from Church History Library, Salt Lake City. Photograph by George Edward Anderson.)

42 Let my servant aNewel K. Whitney retain his bstore, or in other words, the store, yet for a little season.

43 Nevertheless, let him impart all the money which he can impart, to be sent up unto the land of Zion.

44 Behold, these things are in his own hands, let him do aaccording to wisdom (Doctrine and Covenants 63:42–44).

Sidney Rigdon Background:

"When Pratt, Cowdery, and other missionaries stopped in Ohio on their way to preach to American Indians living west of Missouri, many members of Sidney Rigdon’s congregation embraced their message.3 After his own conversion, Rigdon traveled to New York state with his former parishioner Edward Partridge to meet Joseph Smith.4

"Rigdon’s extensive biblical knowledge and powerful preaching helped nurture the young Church. Rigdon also served as a scribe for Joseph Smith’s inspired revision of the Bible and was the subject of several early revelations. When the Church’s First Presidency was first organized, Rigdon was called as Joseph’s counselor. In February 1832, Sidney and Joseph experienced a momentous vision together of the three degrees of glory, their account of which contains a powerful joint testimony of Jesus Christ.5 The next month, a mob dragged both Sidney and Joseph from their homes and then brutally attacked and tarred and feathered them.

"Sidney Rigdon presided over the Saints in Kirtland while many Church leaders were away on the Zion’s Camp expedition, helped write the Lectures on Faith delivered in the School of the Prophets, spoke at the Kirtland Temple dedication, and was a key figure in the organization of the Kirtland Safety Society.6 In 1838, he moved to Missouri with Joseph Smith. In a Fourth of July address, he announced that the Saints would fight back against any mob that came to oppress them, heightening tensions between Church members and their neighbors. He was later imprisoned with Joseph in Liberty, Missouri" ("Sidney Rigdon," Church History Topics, ).

Sidney Rigdon dedicating the land of Zion:

"On the second day of August, I assisted the Colesville branch of the Church 1 to lay the first log, for a house, as a foundation of Zion in Kaw township, twelve miles west of Independence. The log was carried and placed by twelve men, in honor of the twelve tribes of Israel. At the same time, through prayer, the land of Zion was consecrated and dedicated by Elder Sidney Rigdon for the gathering of the Saints. 2 It was a season of joy to those present, and afforded a glimpse of the future, which time will yet unfold to the satisfaction of the faithful" (History of the Church 1:196).

Sidney Rigdon writing a description of Zion:

"The price of land and its ready availability also attracted the Saints. In 1831 whole sections of this undeveloped country could be purchased for $1.25 per acre. The Lord directed the brethren to purchase as much land as they were able (see D&C 57:3–5; 58:37, 49–52; 63:27), and Sidney Rigdon was appointed to “write a description of the land of Zion” (D&C 58:50) to be circulated among eastern Saints in a quest for funds" ("Chapter Nine: Gathering to the Land of Zion," Church History in the Fullness of Times Student Manual,

55 And now behold, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, am not pleased with my servant aSidney Rigdon; he bexalted himself in his heart, and received not counsel, but cgrieved the Spirit;

56 Wherefore his awriting is not acceptable unto the Lord, and he shall make another; and if the Lord receive it not, behold he standeth no longer in the office to which I have appointed him (Doctrine and Covenants 63:55–56).

58 For this is a day of awarning, and not a day of many words. For I, the Lord, am not to be bmocked in the last days (Doctrine and Covenants 63:58).

The Lord's warning to the Saints:

60 Behold, I am aAlpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ.

61 Wherefore, let all men abeware how they take my bname in their lips—

62 For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not aauthority.

  • Vain = Useless or pointless

63 Wherefore, let the church repent of their sins, and I, the Lord, will aown them; otherwise they shall be cut off.

64 Remember that that which cometh from above is asacred, and must be bspoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit; and in this there is no condemnation, and ye receive the Spirit cthrough prayer; wherefore, without this there remaineth condemnation (Doctrine and Covenants 63:60–64).